Transmeta hits World PC Expo

Japanese convention shows off new Crusoe-based laptops
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Transmeta's much-hyped Crusoe processor for notebook computers will be in the limelight at World PC Expo 2000, held this week in Tokyo, Japan.

Sony and NEC have both launched Crusoe-based notebook PCs in time for the event, and World PC Expo will be users' first chance to try out the chips for themselves. Transmeta's processors use an unusual process called "code morphing" to run x86 applications in software, rather than hardware, as with traditional chips from AMD and Intel.

This allows for far more agile power management, according to Transmeta, so that a laptop computer could run for ten hours on a single battery charge, compared to less than half that long with a standard processor.

But Crusoe has not yet been benchmarked, and competitors claim its performance will be unacceptable. New tests by German magazine Computer Technology (C'T) found Crusoe chips performed disappointingly slowly compared to Intel's mobile Pentiums, but such benchmarks may be rendered inaccurate by Crusoe's unorthodox design.

Intel will also be showing off its new Pentium III mobile processors, which hold the speed crown for laptop computers.

See Chips Central for daily hardware news, including interactive roadmaps for AMD, Intel and Transmeta.

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